An investigation by Amnesty International (AI) found that Singapore hands down mandatory death sentences to those convicted of trafficking or possessing even small amounts of controlled substances.
« Singapore likes to paint itself as a prosperous and progressive role model, but its use of the death penalty shows flagrant disregard for human life, » said Chiara Sangiorgio, Amnesty International’s death penalty adviser. « The country relies on harsh laws that overwhelmingly target drug offenders on the lower rungs of the ladder, many of whom will come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Singapore is influential beyond its size in both Asia and the rest of the world. The government should move forward from these reforms towards ending capital punishment once and for all. »
In 2013, Singapore passed a death penalty reform that was supposed to allow drug carriers to avoid the gallows by cooperating with the state prosecutor. However, the decision as to who has « cooperated sufficiently » is up to the prosecutor, and the process lacks transparency.
The number of drug offenders on death row has dropped considerably since the 2013